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2020 Africa Think Tank Summit on Repositioning Africa’s Think Tanks

Contributing to the production of knowledge in Africa on key issues to influence policy decisions.

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ACCORD in partnership with the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) and the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) at the Lauder Institute, University of Pennsylvania, organised the 2020 Africa Think Tank Summit. The theme of the summit was on ‘Repositioning Africa’s Think Tanks to Realize the Power and Potential of Partnerships in Public Policy’. The summit took place from 26-28 February 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa.

The summit largely focused key policy issues confronting the region and the strategic and operational challenges facing respective think tanks within the African continent. The discussions thus focused on the key policy issues, strategies, plans and programs that need to be developed to meet both the challenges and opportunities presented by this new, complex and disruptive environment in which all policymakers and think tanks must operate.


Honourable Thandi Modise, Speaker of the National Assembly of the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, presented the key note address at the event, outlining the need for think tanks to work with their respective Parliaments to bring about effective change in policy making.

The summit addressed a variety of significant thematic areas that are pertinent to the issues in Africa. These included: The Rise of Foreign Investment in Africa & its Impact on Development and National and Regional Sovereignty; Updating Africa’s Approach to Internally Displaced Persons, Migration and Refugees; Reframing Africa’s Security Alliances to Meet Enduring and Emerging Threats; Strategic Communications for Think Tanks; Brain Drain and Flighty Funding: Addressing Threats to Think Tank Sustainability; The Role of States, Constitutions and Effective Governance in Shaping Africa’s Future; The Promise and Peril of AI and 5G for Africa; Balancing on the Head of a Pin: Managing the Employment and the Youth Dividends; and Using the Global Think Tank Arena to Advance the African Development Goals and the G20 Africa. By means of breakaway sessions, participants were able to engage in discussions to optimally explore recommendations on ways to inform policy on these pertinent issues; as well as promote the value of think tanks and the contributions they have to offer.

ACCORD, as a leading think tank, is committed to producing the relevant knowledge to guide in policy formulation on peace and security in Africa.